queens public library

Long Island City

Streetview of the library; Map data © 2020 Google

A popular public library in Queens is shutting its doors next month. The Queens Public Library at Court Square, located at 25-01 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, will close sometime in February after occupying the ground floor of the Citigroup Building for more than 30 years. The library faced threats of eviction after Amazon pulled out of its plan to move its headquarters to the neighborhood last year, which included its lease agreement at One Court Square.

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Long Island City, Policy, Queens

Photo © Paul Warchol

A disability rights group filed a lawsuit on Tuesday that claims a new public library in Queens does not provide full access for those with mobility disabilities. The civil suit, filed by the Center for Independence of the Disabled New York and the Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), says the newly constructed Hunters Point Library in Long Island City, which took nearly a decade to build and cost more than $41 million, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While the library opened in September to praise from architecture critics for its innovative design, visitors immediately criticized the building’s third level fiction section, accessible only by stairs.

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Architecture, Long Island City

Photo © Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl’s Hunters Point Library has garnered glowing architectural reviews since it’s opening last month, but visitors quickly pointed out a critical issue with accessibility in the $41 million building. Although the library has an elevator, it doesn’t stop at the fiction section which is tiered on three levels above the lobby and accessible only via stairs. In light of the criticism, a Queens Public Library official has announced that books in that section will be relocated to an accessible area of the library, as Gothamist reported.

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Architecture, Design, Long Island City

Photo © Paul Warchol

Despite standing just 82 feet tall, the new Hunters Point Library manages to stand out among its skyscraper neighbors on the Long Island City waterfront. The concrete structure, designed by Steven Holl Architects, officially opened to the public Tuesday, about two decades after officials proposed building a new Queens Public Library branch. The delays, and the whopping $40 million price tag, appear to have been worth it, as the building, with its carved windows and incredible skyline views, continues to garner approval from top architecture critics.

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Design, Long Island City, Queens

Photo by Vitali Ogorodnikov for 6sqft

The long-awaited Hunters Point Library will open in Long Island City next month, more than eight years after its futuristic design was revealed, library officials announced Thursday. Designed by Steven Holl Architects, the concrete building with carved windows sits on the East River and boasts sweeping Manhattan views. After many construction and financial delays, the library will officially open on September 24.

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City Living, Long Island City

Court Square Library, Queens Public Library, Long Island City

image via Google Earth

Two months after mega-retailer Amazon announced it was walking away from a lease at One Court Square, a Long Island City library branch that occupies space on the ground floor of the 53-story Citigroup building is facing the possibility of eviction according to non-profit publication The City. The lease on the 3,200-square-foot One Court Square branch of the Queens Public Library expires on August 31. The library has paid an annual rent of $1 since the building opened in 1989 as part of a deal with Citigroup, whose lease on the space ends in May of 2020, but a spokesperson for the library has said that the building’s owner has “indicated it is seeking market rent for the library space.” Last year, building owner Savanna was reportedly seeking $55 to $65 per square foot for space in the building.

A valuable community service in jeopardy

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